Online Shopping

Published on March 9th, 2013 | by adminbill

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Amazon

The world’s largest online retail site.  It offers the widest selection of products you can buy online, including books, music, video, electronics, clothes and furniture.

Welcome To The Jungle

You can sign up for an Amazon account from the Amazon.com homepage by hovering your cursor on ‘Your Account’ and clicking on the ‘Start here’ link.  The registration page is a very simple form to fill, requesting you to put in your name, email address, mobile number (optional) and a password.

There are no restrictions on the type of password you can use, except that a minimum of six characters is required.  Amazon does not provide the user with any advice on password policy on the registration page, however it has a page with information on choosing a strong password.

Navigating Amazon Safely

Amazon implements the Secure Sockets Layer protocol (SSL) by default with its Amazon S3 online storage service and supports user authentication to control access to data.  Moreover, Amazon Web Services (AWS) can be further protected via multi-factor authentication (MFA), whereby the user is prompted for their username and password, as well as for an authentication code using an AWS MFA device.  This device comes in two types:

  1. Virtual MFA device: which is basically a program installed on your smartphone, tablet or computer that returns a Time-based One-time Password (TOTP).
  2. Hardware MFA device: which is a keychain-like device sold by a third party company on behalf of Amazon at a one-time cost of $12.99.

Your Security Settings

To access and configure the security settings of your Amazon account, you need to first log in to Amazon.com and then click on the ‘Your Account’ button on the right-hand side of the search bar.  The Account page is divided into different sections and the third section — called ‘Settings’ — is where you can modify the security settings of your account, including changing passwords, email addresses or mobile phone number.  Payment and credit card details can be accessed from the second section named ‘Payment’.

Tell Me Who’s Looking

Amazon collects all the data that is inputted by the user on its website and also collects and analyses data such as: IP addresses, usernames, email address, password and information related to the type of device and connection used to log in.  Amazon is not in the business of selling personal data to others, and customer information is only shared with its own subsidiaries that adhere to Amazon’s privacy policy and third party companies that follow privacy practices that are as protective as those described in their privacy policy.

Want Out?

Unfortunately, deleting your Amazon account is a tough thing to do and there’s no easy way to do it by yourself.  If you decide to close your Amazon account you need to contact Amazon’s customer service through this form.  Select ‘Something else’ in step 1; choose ‘Account settings’ from the drop-down menu in step 2 and ‘Close my account’ in the issue details menu that appears.  Finally, click ‘Send us an email’ in step 3.  Amazon will then process your request from their end.

Buyer Beware

There have been some significant reports of Amazon accounts being hacked into although the company did not issue any statements confirming or denying the alleged attacks.  Several hackers have claimed that they successfully hacked into other users’ accounts, one notable case being a hacker who said he had gained access to Steve Job’s Amazon account in 2009.  In 2012, Amazon made some changes in its privacy policy to close down security loopholes that could be exploited by hackers.

Third Parties on Amazon

There are not many third party applications that integrate with an Amazon account.  In its policy notice, Amazon states however that it cannot be indemnified for claims brought against third parties that use its service and requires users to do their own research before trusting other websites or merchants.

Tracking Down Your Information

At present there are no tools that allow Amazon users to find out how secure their information is.

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